How to StartUp

The StartUp is a three-day intensive of hands-on workshops that runs June 13-15, 2024 in Kingston, presented in partnership with Ingenuity Labs at Queen’s University.

Logo for Ingenuity Labs features three interlocking v-shaped tiles in red, yellow, and dark blue.


The StartUp Pass is $140 and includes tickets to all FOLDA shows. We have a limited quantity available so be sure to purchase early!

Link to buy StartUp pass

2024 GOALS

1) To strengthen the performing arts sector’s engagement with digital tools
2) To build ties and connections between the technology and arts and culture sectors
3) To explore how a live art festival can be an incubator that includes blind, deaf and disabled artists as equal partners


• An independent, freelance artist, especially based in Kingston and surrounding areas;
• A science and technology worker looking for new avenues of exploration; or
• An arts and culture worker exploring a continued commitment to digital exploration and/or accessibility and inclusion.


Thursday, June 13th. Innovations in VR and Performance

MORNING: Can virtual reality environments be applied to real-world spaces? Spend the morning meeting your fellow StartUp delegates and embarking on a hands-on collaborative experiment inside SESQUI’s 360-degree dome.

AFTERNOON: Get a look behind the scenes of a new VR performance by National Theatre School’s Indigenous Artist-in-Residence, Barry Bilinsky in partnership with Montreal animation studio, EDFilms. EDFilm’s new technology “Puppet Tools” allows artists working in VR to manipulate 3D models in real-time, like puppeteers in performance. Barry is experimenting with applying “Puppet Tools” in a live performance context, influenced by his thinking about the male gaze, the colonial gaze, hunger, thirst, race, and gender.

EVENING: Drop into the book launch of PLAY: Dramaturgies of Participation by Jenn Stephenson and Mariah Horner before heading to the FOLDA Kick-Off featuring musical guest, Kakaow!

Friday, June 14th. AI in Practice

MORNING: Join us at the Anti Bias AI Hack Lab, where you’ll use generative AI to create a compelling devised performance. This workshop focuses on overcoming the racial and colonial biases that are often built into large language models.

AFTERNOON: Meet with artists from bluemouth inc and the Director of The BMO Lab for Creative Research in the Arts, Performance, Emerging Technologies and AI to talk about real examples of artificial intelligence in creative performance practice. Through real-life case studies, we’ll uncover how this technology is applied to create engaging performances. 

EVENING: Experience AI in action at Lucy AI, and enjoy rotating presentations by SESQUI in the 360 dome. Later, take your smartphone experience to the next level at the theatre with SmartSmart.

Saturday, June 15th. Community Connections

MORNING: The StartUp cohort members share their current projects and preoccupations in 15 minutes Laser Talks, followed by emergent dialogue in an informal setting. This is an opportunity to hear what others are working on and share your own. Coffee and pastries provided.

AFTERNOON: Join Marcel Stewart, FOLDA’s Director of Artistic Outreach, for an investigative workshop where he introduces his latest work, Windrush. Experience a live reading, explore his creative journey, and engage in meaningful dialogue about identity, migration, and belonging with acclaimed author and artist Oonya Kempadoo. Enjoy a shared meal as we strengthen our connections as a community.

EVENING: Debrief your StartUp experience with the FOLDA team before catching Erin Ball and Maxime Beauregard’s BETA performance of Mash Up: Explorations of Creative Access in Performance Art before dancing the night away at the FOLDA closing party in the 360 dome!